Keeping Motorcycle Rust at Bay With Proper Winter Storage
Motorcycle rust is a major concern for dedicated riders. It’s most likely to rear its ugly head after a long winter of improper storage (a horror some riders refer to as “garbage rot”). Most riders aren’t displaying their bikes off-season as art installations in their climate-controlled living rooms. Rather, they are kept in a garage, next to the car or exercise equipment. Unless that facility is weather-tight, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise come spring. A carelessly-stored bike can quickly become rust-ridden, with the piston rings, gas tank and body panel often the most susceptible initially.
Preventing motorcycle rust during storage doesn’t have to be a major chore. You have likely invested thousands in your bike, so a little extra care and prep is in order to keep your ride in top shape. Understand the cold temperature isn’t the greatest threat, but rather the moisture. That’s why plastic covers a bad way to go. It might shield the bike from dust, but it’s going to trap menacing moisture, which makes your bike even more rust-prone.
Zerust motorcycle covers help prevent motorcycle rust with non-toxic VCI (vapor corrosion inhibitor) technology woven into the breathable fiber. Our product was specifically recommended last year by the dedicated riders at UltimateMotorcycling.com.
Motorcycle Rust is a Safety Hazard
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were nearly 5,300 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2016 (the latest year for which statistics are available) which is a 5 percent increase from the year before. The vast majority of those incidents were the result of negligence by another driver (most failing to give motorcycles a second thought – or glance). These include speed, alcohol impairment, inexperience and (increasingly) distraction. Motorcycles are also more sensitive to nearly every aspect of road conditions compared to passenger vehicles, so infrastructure defects have a greater impact on riders too.
However, vehicle defects – including motorcycle rust – are increasingly being recognized potential causal or contributing factor in serious crashes. The NHTSA defines a motor vehicle safety defect as any pertaining to performance, construction, component or material of a motorcycle poses a risk to safety. An accumulation of rust can impact how well each component of the bike works, and in turns, your safety on the road. Remember too that just because you can’t see rust doesn’t mean it isn’t there or it won’t impact the performance and safety of your bike.
Preventing Motorcycle Rust With the Right Cover
There are many things you can do to help shield your motorcycle from the corrosive effects of rust while it’s in storage. As noted by automotive journalist Ted Laturnus, writing for Troy Media, these include:
- Warm the bike and change your oils. This removes contaminants and filling the oil up all thew way reduces the risk of rust formation in the transmission components. Fill up the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer to prevent moisture from forming (and preserve the fuel’s quality).
- Find a decent storage space. If you don’t have a garage that is weather-tight, you could consider renting one. However if it can’t be avoided, make sure you keep the bike away from caustic chemicals like swimming pool supplies.
- Keep the wheels off the ground with a center stand or lift. This prevents flat spots on the tires.
- Give the bike a final wash and wax to clear away any road crude or grime that may have built up on your summer rides.
- Use a high-quality, breathable Zerust motorcycle cover with VCI technology to keep rust at bay.
Our motorcycle rust prevention experts are dedicated to keeping your bike in the best possible – and safest – shape.
Contact Zerust for information on motorcycle covers and motorcycle rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.
Motorcycle Winter Storage Tips, By Ron Lieback, Dec. 10, 2017, UltimateMotorcycling.com
More Blog Entries:
Rust Protection for Motorcycles Starts With Motorcycle Cover, April 9, 2018, Zerust Motorcycle Rust Cover Blog